Larry Ellison Receives Award of Distinction from AFAR
The American Federation for Aging Research awarded the 2004 Fred D. Thompson
Award of Distinction to Lawrence J. Ellison at the AFAR 2004 Awards Dinner held
November 15, 2004 in New York, New York. The award, named in honor of the founding
chairman of AFAR's board of directors, was presented by Christine K. Cassel,
M.D., President of AFAR, for Mr. Ellison's support of new knowledge and groundbreaking
research in the field of gerontology and in recognition of his continued commitment
to the science of aging and in appreciation for his continuing efforts to influence
the course of science and a better understanding of the aging process.
Dr. Richard L. Sprott, Executive Director of The Ellison Medical Foundation
and a member of the AFAR Board of Directors and Chair of its Executive Committee,
accepted the award on behalf of Mr. Ellison, saying:
Mr. Ellison would like to thank the American Federation for Aging Research
for honoring him and the work of The Ellison Medical Foundation with the Fred
D. Thompson Award.
It has always been our goal at The Ellison Medical Foundation to support
scientists with cutting edge and innovative ideas, the ones who take the risks
on which major discoveries are based. In just six and one-half years, we have
funded the basic biological research on aging of 160 scholars, divided equally
between newly independent investigators and very senior investigators. The
research these investigators are conducting has already had significant impact
on the pace of discovery of basic principles of aging.
We also support and encourage talented, young investigators to pursue research
and stay in the field. Senior post-doctoral fellows are often at a vulnerable
stage in their careers; unable to get the funding they need to continue. Many
are leaving academia altogether. Our partnership with AFAR tries to address
this need through the support of MDs and PhDs with outstanding promise in
the basic biological and biomedical sciences, the next wave of discoverers.
Major scientific discoveries in modern medicine like the development of the
polio vaccine and the cracking of the DNA code were made by young scientists.
Lack of funding should not prevent the next generation of Salk's, Watson's
and Crick's from emerging.
To find ways to slow the progress of or cure the diseases that affect an
aging society takes years of commitment by our nation's scientists. A growing
aging population demands that innovation be encouraged. And Mr. Ellison is
happy to play a part in that.
The Fred D. Thompson Award recognizes a lay individual who has demonstrated
an outstanding commitment to the field of aging research and supports those
in the field. This is only the second time that it has been awarded.